Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 282

Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 282

cross King Christian gave me, but it turned out that among the dozen diplomats and other guests no one wore any decoration save myself, and I did n’t like it. The President saw, I think, that I was troubled, and divined the reason in the way he has. He slipped up behind me, at the first chance, and said in my ear: “I am so much honored and touched by your putting it on for me.” So he knew, and it was all right. The others might stare.
  It is just an instance of the loyalty that is one of the traits in the man which bind you to him with hoops of steel once you are close to him. It takes no account of condition in life: good reason why his Rough-Riders worshiped the ground he trod on. When they ate bacon and hard-tack, that was his fare; and if there was any better to be had, they shared even. It was that trait that came out in him the night a half-witted farmer drove to Sagamore Hill on purpose to shoot him. He was in the library with Mrs. Roosevelt when the voice of the fellow, raised in angry contention with the secret service guard under the trees, attracted his attention. He knew the officer was alone, out of ear-shot of the others down at the barn,